Beginner’s guide to women’s cricket

Most cricket fans are going to be infinitely more familiar with men’s cricket, and it’s not surprising considering the disproportionate amount of attention paid to the men’s game, and its omnipresence on our TV screens.

With the WBBL starting tomorrow, I thought I’d run through a few key statistical differences between men’s and women’s Twenty20 cricket.

For this purpose, I’m using 5419 matches which produced a result since 2003. I excluded any matches where the result was decided by Duckworth-Lewis or a similar method, or where no team won (either due to a draw or an abandoned match), or where the maximum overs was less than 20 (usually due to rain).

This includes 4773 men’s matches and 806 women’s matches, up to 2 December. I’ll explain next week precisely what is included in my database.

I should also briefly explain that I’ll be often analysing these stats by looking at the first quartile, median and third quartile. You get these measures by lining all of the scores up in a line, and taking the scores which are one-quarter, half, and three-quarters of the way along. It is useful for giving you a sense of what is ‘normal’.

In this article I’ll run through what run rate is most common for the men’s and women’s game, and will separate what is a normal run rate for a winning match and for a losing match.

I’ll also then go into what role scoring fours and sixes have in men’s and women’s Twenty20 cricket, and how that explains most of the variation.

Of course this isn’t by any means a comprehensive analysis of differences between the men and women’s game, but I think it’s a useful starting point.

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